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Cheers - AE

Monday, 6 September 2010

Prince of Fails.

Oh God, as if I wasn't already furious enough, Chuckles FcKnuckles is in the fucking news again. Actually it turns out not to be annoying after all because it kind of backs up the view that he's simply a titled fuckwit with a modern religion and the business sense of a shit flinging monkey.
Embracing the Prince of Wales’s passion for organic with unstinting devotion, Waitrose has rebranded Duchy Originals, the organic food range he founded in 1990, as Duchy Originals from Waitrose. So now it’s official: Waitrose, which even sells a loo roll with cashmere added into the paper, is the upper crust grocer.
I didn't see this at the time but the link goes to an article from February reporting that the Prince of Fails' organic food company had suffered heavy losses. The more recent article summarises:
Last September the supermarket took over control of Duchy Originals, originally set up by the Prince to sell produce grown at his Highgrove estate and raise money for charity. The recession had hit it hard. The previous year, turnover almost halved from £4.06 million to £2.2 million, while an operating profit of £57,000 turned into a loss of £3.3 million.
As a result the good causes suffered. For the second year in a row the company made no donation to the Prince’s Charities Foundation.
So what went wrong, Charley? Did you forget to dilute the takings a million times in pure water to make more of them? Or is it simply that all this organic stuff is over priced to a degree that you can just about get away with in the middle of a credit fuelled boom driven by a Keynes fellating fucking madman, but not when the aforementioned madman's chickens come home to roost and the boom turns to the bust the hubristic twat actually believed he'd abolished? That in your crusade to peddle this organic eco-guff to everyone you hadn't thought that your products might become indulgent luxuries when Mr and Mrs Tesco Finest are having to downgrade to the Value range? Fortunately Waitrose, popular with people who can still afford cleaners, calamari, cocaine and colonic irrigation even during a recession, has bailed FcKnuckles out - exclusivity in return for guaranteed, aha, royalties.
The supermarket gained exclusive rights to sell the Duchy brand’s range of biscuits, cordials, soups, sliced ham, fresh turkeys as well as gardening equipment and beauty products in its 214 stores. But given its charitable status, it was not a simple acquisition.
Under a licensing and distribution agreement, the supermarket has promised to give £1m a year to the Prince’s Charity Foundation. This is a huge leap from the £7m that Duchy Originals raised over two decades.
The Prince is surely turning handsprings.
He certainly should be. £7 million in two decades when he started with the advantage of inheriting fame, wealth and farmland, doesn't sound all that impressive. I feel that perhaps Chuckles believed it was a money spinner for his charidees simply because it was a cause he believed in, and he believed it so strongly that couldn't believe that not everyone else would too. Well, the market has given its verdict, and that verdict is to hand the brand over to someone who's probably got the customers. Whether they can seriously grow the brand I have no idea, but I rate their chances better than Chuckles'.

Sorry, don't know what made me think of that.

But the other Telegraph article to talk about His Whyness is by Geoffrey Lean, who's not normally someone I agree with much but who I think has Charley-boy bang to rights in a few places.
He's the second most senior member of one of the highest-consuming families on the planet, and yet he is about to launch a campaign to persuade us to "lead more sustainable lives". It's no surprise that the Prince of Wales is already being berated for so-called "Let them eat Duchy Original cake" comments as he embarks on the most extraordinary two weeks of public advocacy of his 40 years of environmental campaigning.
It starts on Monday with a five-day tour around the country, a 21st-century version, perhaps, of the old Royal Progress. But whereas Elizabeth I used to require 400 carts and carriages to carry her staff – and stuff – the Prince will be using the Royal Train, adapted to run on waste vegetable oil. And rather than setting out, like the Virgin Queen, to show himself to the populace, he is aiming to showcase what others are doing.
Predictably Geoff is happy with the fact that Chuckles is doing his tour by vegetable oil fuelled choo-choo and is ecstatic that the Prince is on message about things such as showering for less time than it takes to boil an egg (and with less water if at all possible), but I can understand his concerns about where the message is coming from.
Inevitably, this has led to charges of hypocrisy from commentators who suggest that the Prince's baths are drawn by flunkeys and insist on recycling old (and hotly denied) chestnuts – such as the one where he chooses his breakfast from seven boiled eggs solemnly lined up before him.
But leaving aside the predictable jibes from people whose own lifestyles are far from parsimonious, there is a real problem in an extremely wealthy man with three huge homes, four cars and a record of travelling by private jet, urging people to live modestly. Even one supporter and former collaborator calls it "pretty preachy" and admits that it "invites ridicule".
Aides say he "understands the criticism" and insist he "does as much as he can within the confines of his role as heir to the throne".
And here is where Geoffrey Lean and I diverge, because I'd suggest that if Chuckles feels he could practice what he preaches to a greater degree were he not confined by being next in line to the thousand carat headgear the obvious solution is to renounce it. Look, he's always going to be world famous anyway. Not only is he a member of the Royal Family, but he's famous for marrying Princess Di, famous for divorcing Princess Di, famous for being the ex-husband of the tragically dead Di, famous for then marrying Camilla (not to mention the whole tampon reincarnation thing), famous for talking to plants, famous for bagging architecture he dislikes, famous for falling off polo ponies a lot when he was younger, famous for having a politically incorrect (sometimes hilariously so) dad... I could go on. If he chose to embrace ecomentalism even more fully by renouncing his claim to the throne he'd be even more famous. Sure, I'd start calling him the Arsehole formerly known as Prince but why should he care what one angry republican expat has to say? Christ, people still talk about Edward VIII giving up the throne for the love of Mrs Simpson - how much publicity would Chuckles get for his cause if he gave it up for the love of Gaia? Fucking loads... but I bet he doesn't. He'd rather carry on "within the confines of his role as heir to the throne."

And while Geoffrey Lean is still trying to applaud the wingnut druid he's at least asking if Charles' e-commitment is all it could be.
His new initiative, moreover, latches on to two essential points. The first is that there is now a huge range of products and practices ready to start the transition to low-carbon prosperity...
Secondly, he is right to reject doomsaying in favour of the positive, stressing that a more sustainable future would be better and more prosperous than continuing on the present course.
Er, sorry to interrupt you there, but are you talking about the kind of rejection of doomsaying where Charley stands up and says that we have less than 100 months to save the planet or we're all fucked? Yeah, that's really positive that is. Anyhoo...
All the same, if he could provide an example of where it has really cost him to change his ways – or undertake one if none such already exists – it would do wonders for the credibility of his campaign.
And that is something I can't argue with at all. If Charles really believes then he ought to proactively abdicate or whatever the correct term is, but failing that he could at least tell everybody that he's actually making real sacrifices that he feels as keenly as they will when they make the same kind of sacrifices he's suggesting they do. Telling everyone that they have to get used to smelling like an athlete's jockstrap because their shower water ration must shrink at the same time as explaining how you're restraining yourself to only 300 miles a year in the Aston Martin - as if you can justify having had the bloody thing built at all for such low usage - and that you're fuelling it with fucking wine isn't going to impress too many.


Bill Sticker said...

Love the Harry Enfield clip.

Angry Exile said...

The 'I saw you coming' sketches rea;;y aren't that far from reality.

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